Author(s): Conway DI, Stockton DL, Warnakulasuriya KA, Ogden G, Macpherson LM
This study aimed to determine whether the incidence of oral cancer is continuing to rise in the UK and if this varies geographically. A descriptive epidemiological study of oral cancer incidence in 12 UK cancer registries (1990-1999) was undertaken. Poisson regression models were employed to assess trends. There were 32,852 oral cancer cases registered (1990-1999). Statistically significant increases in incidence of 18% and 30% were seen in males and females respectively (p<0.01). The trend was observed in younger (<45 years) and older (45+ years) age groups (p<0.01) with 3.5% and 2.4% average annual increases respectively. These increases were consistent for the majority of regions in the older group. For the younger group the increases in incidence were more rapid and differed geographically. Incidence remains higher in men than women, in older compared with younger groups, and in northern regions. These findings provide evidence of a continuing increase in the burden of oral cancer across the UK.